Superintendent gets a raise
Daily Staff Writer
The school board approved a new contract for Superintendent John Brendza as part of the meeting’s consent agenda, meaning there was no discussion of the item.
Brendza’s new contract runs through June 30, 2007. The contract requires the school board to approve Brendza’s contract every year through its term.
Like other district employees, Brendza received a raise as part of the successful settlement of the district’s lawsuit over 2001’s ballot issue 3-D. The new contract calls for an annual salary of $126,800 per year.
In addition to the salary, Brendza is eligible for bonuses based on gains in student performance on standardized tests, as well as “documented completion” of a district marketing plan.
Brendza gave board members a report about the state of the district. The good news is that the district’s white students are in many cases meeting standards set by the Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAP. However, Brendza said, there continues to be an “achievement gap” between white and minority students.
– Other good news is the level of participation at high schools, since kids involved in extracurricular activities generally do better over all. At Eagle Valley High School, 230 kids are involved in activities, while 260 Battle Mountain High School kids participate in sports or other activities.
– The district’s various budgets are in balance, with more than 26 percent of the general fund is held in reserve.
– For the third straight year, enrollment in the district is flat, and a little below projections.
– District officials are planning now for the anticipated retirement of four district principals next year.
– The district is part of a state-sponsored pilot program for an alternative to CSAP for Spanish speaking students. Brendza called the new test “a little more appropriate for those students.”
In an effort to better communicate with parents and others, the district has launched a marketing plan that includes:
– A district newsletter published four times per year: Spetember, November, February and May. The newsletter will be inserted in the Vail Daily and the Eagle Valley Enterprise.
– Individual school brochures that detail specific programs at schools while presenting a district-wide “image.” The theme of the brochures and other pieces is “high expectations.”
– “We need to do a better job of communicating some of the unique programs we’ve got going on,” Brendza said, in order to tell parents what the public schools have that local private schools might not. One example, Brendza said, is the revival of vocational programs at the high schools.
“We have a lot of students going to schools nationwide,” Brendza said. “We need to communicate that.”
The effort starts now, with brochures expected in all schools by early next year, and expanding the “Friends of Education” network through 2007.
Vail Daily staff writer
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